Five Tips for DFW Auto Show

It’s Spring Break!

You can only sit and stare at the iPad for so many hours before that becomes a bore. It sounds like a perfect opportunity to head down to the DFW Auto Show at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (formerly the Dallas Convention Center) from March 16-20.

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Hours of operation are evenings Wednesday and Thursday, and all day Friday-Sunday:

  • Wednesday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Friday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ticket Prices:

  • $12 for adults
  • $5 for senior citizens 65 and older
  • $5 for children 6 to 12 years old; children 5 and under admitted free

But before you head out to the auto show, take note of these five tips:

1. Wear Comfy Shoes.

There’s a half-million square feet of cars, from 39 car manufacturers including Toyota – that’s a lot of car. Be sure to wear comfy shoes, and remember your smart watch or FitBit!

2. Reserve Your Parking.

The DFW Auto Show is partnering with Parking Panda to reserve off-site parking as low as $5. Take a look at the availability here. Parking is available in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center parking garage or in lots surrounding the Convention Center for $15. Shuttles to the Convention Center are available from remote parking lots Friday through Sunday.

3. Get a Ticket Discount.

$1 discount coupons off the full-price ticket admission are available at participating new car dealerships. Please keep in mind that if you’re planning to head to the show on Sunday, to grab your coupon early, as many dealerships are closed that day.

4. Ride and Drive.

One of my favorite parts of the DFW Auto Show is the Ride and Drive. Thirteen manufacturers will be available to test drive vehicles on site. No where else can you drive cars from different manufacturers side by side. Plus, Toyota will be on site all five days for Ride and Drive, so take full advantage!

5. Win Tickets!

We’re giving away two tickets to the DFW Auto Show. Enter by clicking this link! 

This post is sponsored by SheBuysCars on behalf of the DFW Auto Show and Toyota. All opinions are my own.

Houston Auto Show 2016 Recap

I had a blast a the 2016 Houston Auto Show. I attended in 2015, but didn’t get to take in nearly as many sights and sounds, drives and rides that I did this year. Even better, I got to hang out with amazing group of bloggers (organized by SheBuysCars):

One of my favorite things about the Houston Auto Show, as opposed to some of the others, is the sheer variety in vehicles shown – over 700 this year. The majority of the show hall is full of new vehicles, new announcements and concept vehicles from all of the top manufacturers. But in addition to that, there are also classic cars, ultra sports cars, accessory vendors, and even an ADA-wheelchair accessible conversion company.

Speaking of announcements, the blogger group was privy to a front-row unveiling of the GMC Sierra All Terrain X, a new, more aggressive off-road package for the GMC Sierra line.

After the unveiling, I was able to check out the Ride and Drive section of the auto show – where anyone (over the age of 18, I think), can get a guided drive in 40-some odd vehicles from over a dozen manufacturers. We chose a new 2016 Lincoln Navigator and drove around the block with a very nice Lincoln rep.

Make sure to put the 2017 Houston Auto Show on your calendars, April 5-9, 2017 (moved back because of the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston). But another exciting development is that the Houston Auto Show will be co-located with the Mecum Auto Auction.

Blog Post sponsored by SheBuysCars, The Houston Auto Show, and GMC.

Houston Auto Show 2016

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It’s that time of year again – the Houston Auto Show is on at NRG Center from January 27-31. Even if you’ve been in years past, you won’t want to miss this year’s show. There is over 700,000 square feet of new cars, trucks, SUVs and more to check out. And with this giveaway for two free tickets, there’s no reason not to see some of the latest vehicles from the top manufacturers:

Click To Enter to Win 2 Tickets

One of my favorite parts of the event are the Ride & Drives, where you can be among the first to drive some of the newest vehicles from at least 17 manufacturers. A couple manufacturers had tracks set up inside the hall last year, but the majority of them will take you on a short route around the NRG complex.

Also, making its Texas debut is the 2017 GMC Acadia Denali (see all the debuts here). It’s an all-new take on the Acadia, with added technological features and a great redesign. Check it out, and I hope to see you there!

SheBuysCars, The Houston Auto Show and GMC Houston are sponsors of this blog post. 

Minority-Owned Business Summit Nov 17, 2015: Sponsored by Verizon

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Small and minority-owned businesses make up the backbone of the Houston-area. Houston was ranked as the #4 best place to start a small business by CNN, attributing it to lax zoning and low taxes. Even so, small businesses in Houston often have to deal with issues that larger businesses don’t – understaffing, small budgets, and a general under utilization in new marketing strategies including blogging.

Luckily, Verizon is sponsoring a half-day workshop for minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs to get the latest tips and tricks from some of the top entrepreneurs and marketers in the Houston area

The FREE half day summit will be in Houston:

8:00AM – 12:30PM Tuesday, November 17, 2015
JW Marriott Houston (5150 Westheimer Rd; Houston, TX 77056)
CLICK to View the Agenda or Register
Verizon is committed to supporting minority-owned businesses in the Houston community. From Verizon:

Please join us for a free half-day of panel discussions, keynote presentations and networking. The focus of the day is on how SMBs can achieve personal and professional results, inspire their employees, manage their business to new heights, meet peers and share best practices. We’re proud to have worked with all kinds of small businesses in the greater Houston area – providing tools and guiding business owners to manage the success of their business more efficiently.

Also if you attend, Verizon is awarding $10,000 to Houston Charities. You can nominate one in your registration. 

In honor of Small to Medium Businesses giving back to their community, Verizon will award two $5,000 donations to the charities of your choice that demonstrate making Houston communities a better place.

I’ll be speaking about the Content Matrix – or how to organize your content marketing strategy to produce tangible business results. I hope you won’t miss it!
This post is sponsored content by Verizon Wireless, all opinions are my own.

Top 5 @JasonBoies Memories… For His Birthday!

Two years ago, we had a top-10 list of 10 Easy Ways to wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday, followed by 10 More Ways to Wish @JasonBoies a Happy Birthday. This year, we have the top 5 @JasonBoies memories… enjoy!

“His movie reviews! His reviews of anything, I could read them all day!”
– Cory Hartlen, Radian6 2009-Oh wait, I guess he’s still there.

“I was just thinking about the time he and I went to see Reggie Watts and Sarah Silverman perform at SXSW. He was the best date!”
Amanda Nelson, Radian6 2012-2014

“Oh so many. I think my fav is the one South By…where I did the Vine video (landscape) of him dancing. That one comes to mind immediately.”
Heather-Anne MacLean, Radian6 2011-2013

“Every conversation with Jason is a joy! I can’t even think of one in particular right now tho! Perhaps pregnancy brain? He was always fun to talk to and could make everyone laugh in the worst situations!”
Melanie Thompson, Radian6 2010-2013

“I have a lot of great personal memories of Jason, but there’s one story I tell about him whenever I’m explaining to someone the concept of the brand journalist. When Jason got assigned to the healthcare vertical at Radian6 as a community manager, he didn’t know anything about it. But 90 days later he was named to a list of the 100 most influential healthcare people on Twitter, purely because of his dedication, hard work, smarts and natural friendliness.”

David B. Thomas, Radian6 2011-Oh, I guess he’s still there too.

So there you have it! The top memories with @JasonBoies.Have a good one my friend!

What are your favorite @JasonBoies memories? List them below!

Or, click here to tweet him a birthday message!

5 Ways to Use Influencer Marketing

The term ‘Influencer Marketing’ can mean different things to different people, and can sometimes be narrowly defined as one particular type of influence marketing. A brand might be constraining itself by only considering one type of influencer marketing, when others could be used to supplement it. Here’s a quick rundown of various methods of influencer marketing, from the least involved to most involved for influencers: 

Marketing From Influencers: Use Them for Trending Info

Whether you use simple tools like Twitter Lists, or something more thorough like Traackr, you can learn quite a bit from your influencers. What are industry experts predicting for the future, or what are the trends being talked about currently among influencers? Even without contacting influencers for input, you can gauge industry trends just by seeing what influencers are talking about and then adding to the conversation with your view. Not only will you find that your viewpoint will add to the natural conversation around the topic, but you’ll provide great SEO for others looking for more information about it.

Marketing Through Influencers: Give Them Exclusive Access

One key aspect of influencer marketing is making them feel appreciated, and part of that is offering them exclusive access to your events or influencers. At Ned Lamont for US Senate in 2006, our campaign communications team worked closely with political bloggers locally and nationally. We offered access to the candidate, and even issued press announcements and daily schedules to bloggers as well as mainstream media. By offering bloggers daily announcements and exclusive access, we helped create or inspire content.

Marketing To Influencers: Giving Them Free Stuff

When thinking about influencer marketing, most people think about free-stuff marketing. That is to say that a company will offer free services or products to influencers for review blogs, videos and social shares. Ford gave away 100 Fiestas in Europe in 2009 and in the US in 2013 to celebrities, bloggers and reviewers to increase awareness of the new vehicle. Influencers spent between six months and a year and produced tens-of-thousands of pieces of content. Some sources quoted a 60% market awareness of the vehicle before it was sold. (Disclosure: I am a member of the Ford press fleet program where I review vehicles for them, typically for a week.)    

Marketing With Influencers: Set Up a Social Influencer Program

A step beyond offering influencers exclusive access is to formalize a social influencer program. At BMC Software, our customer connect team uses an advocate hub to help customers interested in supporting BMC. Tools like Social Toaster and Addvocate help by offering pre-approved messages and social posts to influencers and employees to share on your behalf. With a  formalized tool, it’s much easier for influencers to share company and product information without fearing they are sharing unreleased information prematurely. 

Marketing Through Influencers: Guest Blogging

Perhaps the most time-intensive option in influencer marketing is guest blogging. Just like I’m writing this blog post for TaylorMade Solutions, your company can also recruit guest bloggers interested in sharing their perspective on the issues. They can help you create content and share the information with their audiences, while you can provide them an outlet and platform to reach new audiences.

Whether you’re just getting started in influencer marketing, or you have been working at it for years, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and see what other ways you might be able to improve or expand your program. While most people think of free-stuff or guest blogging as influencer marketing, there are many more options to engage and work with influencers for your mutual benefit.

Originally posted at TaylorMade Solutions: http://www.taylormadecanada.com/blog/entry.php?id=1294